5. Somone Using Guilt Trip Tactics Will Act Like They’re On High Ground
A manipulative and controlling person will guilt trip you by acting like they’re on some form of high ground. They may act morally, intellectually, or physically superior to you to make you feel smaller, say studies.
These people may frame their actions as a form of moral education. They’ll act like they’re teaching you something you’re not wise enough to know. They’ll insist that the behavior they want out of you is somehow the “right” behavior and that your current behavior is inferior.
There’s a lot of difference between guiding someone with genuine wisdom and simply framing yourself as superior. Someone using a classic guilt trip doesn’t want you to learn the truth or be better. They want you to fall in line according to their desires. They may make this happen by:
- Referring to the harsh words they use as “tough love,” framing it as if it’s for your good
- Acting like they have automatic authority over you or that they need to be responsible for you in some way
- Intentionally using things you’re most sensitive about to get you to fall inline
This also means that they’ll often deflect any accountability or responsibility to you. It is manipulative! When you try to explain your side of the story or point to something harmful they’ve done, they’ll completely deflect you. They may turn everything into your fault by:
- Saying that their negative behavior is only being performed because of your negative behavior
- Justifying their manipulative actions by jumping through numerous mental hoops
- Insinuating that you’re rightfully deserving of the negative actions that they perform while they don’t deserve anything that you’ve done
Final Thoughts On Signs Someone Uses Guilt Trip To Get Their Way
Guilt is a very complex thing. This emotion has some positive purposes, and it’s acceptable and healthy to feel guilty about some things. This is especially true if you use that emotion to fuel positive change, improvement, or accountability.
On top of that, a guilt trip isn’t always born out of manipulation. Because of how easy it is to trigger guilt in others in our close relationships. Indeed, it can happen accidentally or through genuine communication. Someone might mention that you’re not doing your part in a relationship – whether platonic, professional, familial, or romantic – and supplement that with evidence that they have done their part.
The topic of guilt-tripping is nuanced. It can be a part of someone’s genuine efforts to inspire a good, necessary change. However, even well-intentioned guilt-tripping can backfire. And, of course, people use this trick to get what they want from other people.
Ultimately, if someone uses a classic guilt trip to get their way, you must examine the situation with nuance and understanding. This will allow you to discern toxic people doing this as a form of manipulation so you can push back or disengage. Keep an eye out for the signs of a guilt trip, and learn to respond productively for each manipulative tactic!